Bath-time!April 8, 2016
Does your dog hate having a bath? We’ve got some great tips to help make bath-time and enjoyable experience for all involved.
The collar and lead, alongside the hose or a bucket can send many dogs running in circles, howling or yowling at the prospect of having a bath. This behaviour can leave many dog owners scratching their heads in disbelief, as their water-loving hound, that loves to swim, has become a nervous wreck at the thought of getting wet and soapy! So how can you teach your dog to love their bath-time?
1. Keep it WARM
The summer months washing your pooch under the hosepipe is fine and normally a nice cool experience. However, as the weather cools it’s a good idea to find another option so you keep your dog warm. Do you have a shower in the house with a handheld shower-head? Consider training your dog to stand in the shower (you may have to also get wet). This is a great way to keep the temperature at a nice warm setting. Remember to pop plenty of old towels on the floor so your pet doesn’t go slip-sliding after getting out. If you don’t have this option consider filling buckets full of warm water so you can finish your dogs washing experience with a warm ending. Or even standing your dog in the bath and rinsing them with buckets of warm water. Mobile washing units or taking your dog to the groomer for a bath during the cooler months is also a good idea to keep them comfortable and smelling sweet.
2. Keep it CALM
Talk to your dog during his/her bath in a nice soothing voice. Also incorporate a nice massage and scratch into the bathing regime. This will help your dog relax during the experience. Those round-rubber brushes are great to add a little massage while also removing dead skin and hair.
Teach your dog to ‘stand’ and reinforce this training command during bathing to keep your dog still. This will make bathing an easy task rather than dealing with a dog that is wrapping you up in a lead and trying to run away. Remember plenty of pats, encouragement and a few treats. To train your dog to ‘stand’. Have a treat in front of their nose while in the ‘sit’ command. Ask to ‘stand’ and move the treat forward. Your dog will stand up. Wait three seconds then reward. How long can you get your dog to ‘stand’?
4. GAME TIME!
When the bath is over, give your dog a good rub down with an old towel then have a game of fetch. This will help your pooch dry off and also take their mind of being wet. Fetch, or another fun dog game is a great way to treat your dog and help them associate great things with clean fur! By keeping them entertained after a bath (even with a quick walk around the block) can also help prevent rolling.